1233:: 4 Stamps, I¢ 3¢ 3¢ III¢, 1929, Century of Progress, World’s Fair, unused
Century Of Progress World’s Fair
The 1933 World’s Fair opened in Chicago, Illinois, on May 27, 1933.
By the late 1920s, the city of Chicago was looking toward 1933 as it’s 100th anniversary. A nonprofit corporation, A Century of Progress, was founded in 1928 to plan and host the upcoming World’s Fair to be held there.
The city allotted three-and-a-half miles of land along Lake Michigan to serve as the fair grounds, which encompassed a total of 427 acres. Because the land was owned by the state, the fair’s architects were pleased to not have to follow Chicago’s strict building codes and were able to experiment with new building materials and techniques. They were also encouraged to explore new building designs, rather than re-creating classic architecture, which had been done in past fairs. The resulting buildings were modern and colorful, dubbed a “Rainbow City.”
Two of the main features on the Chicago Exposition grounds were meant to provide a contrast by which to measure the city’s progress. A restoration of Fort Dearborn, the original site of Chicago, which had twice been destroyed, stood in sight of the towering Federal Building, which dominated the grounds.
The fair opened on May 27, 1933, and was an immediate success. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people attended the first day alone. And that night they were treated to a special event. At 9:15, light rays from the distant star Arcturus were pointed to photoelectric cells at several observatories and converted into electrical energy to provide light at the fair.